Man pleads guilty to charges connected to death of former SIU student

By Daily Egyptian

A man pled guilty to charges connected to the death of a former SIU student who was struck by a vehicle in November, Jackson County State’s Attorney Michael Carr announced Tuesday.

Seth Loyd, 23, pled guilty to one count of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol involving the death of SIU student Matthew Dierker, who died from injuries he suffered after being struck by a 1997 green Ford Escort that Loyd was driving at 3:20 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2014.

Dierker, whose heart stopped at the scene but was revived, was taken to the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. There, they determined he had a broken neck and back, severe head trauma and multiple fractures in his ribs. He was air lifted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where he died at 7:55 a.m. on Nov. 15, according to a Jackson County state’s attorney’s office news release.


Carbondale police received a call of an accident involving a bicyclist and a vehicle at the intersection of Old Highway 13 and Bigler Road, where they found Dierker, a 33-year-old Carbondale resident, lying unconscious on the left side of Old Highway 13, the Jackson County state’s attorney’s office said.

At the scene, police say Loyd told officers that “he was not going to lie, and that he was guilty of a DUI right now,” according to the Jackson County state’s attorney’s office. He also told police he was texting his mother when he struck Dierker, who the Southern Illinoisan described in November as “a veteran of half a dozen local punk bands and an avid runner and cyclist.”

Loyd also told police he was drinking the night before and had a couple more drinks when he woke up that day, according to the news release. A blood sample, which Loyd gave voluntarily at the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, was tested by the Illinois State Police Crime Lab and revealed he had a blood alcohol content of .207.

Later, a breath sample revealed he had a blood alcohol content of .174.

Two witnesses told police they saw the vehicle strike Dierker. 

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5.